The bones turn out to be two thousand years old, and DCI Harry Nelson, who called on Ruth for help, is disappointed. He'd hoped they would be the bones of a child called Lucy who's been missing for ten years; he's been getting letters about her ever since. Then a second girl goes missing and Nelson receives more letters.
Soon it becomes clear that Ruth is in grave danger from a killer who knows that her expert knowledge is being used to help the police with their enquiries.
©2009 Elly Griffiths; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This engaging story is well written and totally captures the hauntingly lonely sea side life the main character has chosen for herself. She is a forensic archeologist working in the field, lecture hall and with the police as a solver of crime. Her work focuses on working out mysteries from the past and present. The story is heavy on nature, mythology, archeology and spookiness in general. I really enjoyed the narration and way the book unfolded. It held my interest-- as any good page turner should. As the first book in a series it bodes well for readers who enjoy crime stories with a dash of odd characters and brooding nature thrown in. But be aware--it is creepy!
I've never been a fan of mysteries, but I loves the author's use of details to provide me with a great picture of the characters and places. LOVED IT. Am now reading the Janus Stone and enjoying it just as much.
Blogger of accidental discoveries through books
I really enjoyed the plot and found the characters believable. The backdrop of the Norfolk salt marshes created a wonderful damp wind blown atmosphere and in my mind's eye I could see it's beauty and feel it. The narration by Jane McDowell was just right for me. An excellent mystery.
Yes. Narrator Jane McDowell was pitch perfect in capturing Ruth's voice.
Story a bit slow paced at first, but was an interesting view into the life of independent archaeology prof, Ruth Galloway. Is she contented or lonely? I still can't decide. Different worlds to explore here: archaeology and the desolate salt marshs Ruth calls home.
Hi, I am a voracious reader with a wide range of tastes.
The excellent writing and character development. Ruth the main character, she is a strong women and yet flawed, as all people are, making her very realistic.
Well I did guess who the bad guy was half way through, but was kept enthralled by the plot all the same.
I am going to buy the second book now.
Creepy. Suspenseful. Atmospheric.
It reminded me a little of the Donna Leon series. Inspector Harry Nelson reminded me of Leon's Brunetti - both a little out of shape, gruff, brusque but deep thinkers. This novel had the same strong sense of place - not Venice obviously, but it makes you feel as though you really know the area of the east coast of England where the story is set.
Yes I did - I gasped out loud at the ending.
Wonderfully creepy and mysterious. I listened to most of this book hiking or driving in bright California sunshine. I still felt as though I was stumbling about on a mud flat in the dark as the unseen riptide roared close by.
books and music
This is the first time I have listened to this author and this reader. It was an engrossing story, a wonderful sense of place, and great characters. And with one exception, the narrator was as good as the story. That exception was the dreadful Scandinavian accent that was totally unnecessary for the character: the descriptions of him were more than sufficient for you to see him as the Viking hippy character he was. But even with that jarring note, I loved this book.
I'd never read Elly Griffiths before but I loved the characters and the story. Just when I thought I knew who it was, she fooled me.
I've since bought all of the other books in the series and now am unhappy because I have to wait for the next one!
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
The story was good, the narration fair, overall I enjoyed the listen.
Not action packed or full of witty dialog, just a decent story line with relatable characters and good imagary.
"enjoyable crime hokum."
I personally enjoy history/religious/pagan based books I am a great fan of Phil Rickman's Merrily books. Being a science teacher I enjoyed the forensic bits. The forensic archeologist Ruth is a well rounded character who you quickly get to like. The story moves quickly along and although you guess whodonit about half way along it is enjoyable to see how it pans out and who becomes a suspect and the various twists and turns.
"Crime and archaeology - what's not to like?!"
This is the first of Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels I've read, and I'm very, very impressed! As a fan of Phil Rickman, and other pagan/paranormal storytellers, I loved the unusual location of the events - which is beautifully evoked. The plot is complex, but makes sense, and Ruth is a fully rounded, 'real' character - as is DCI Nelson. Although you might guess what happened, and who did it about half way through (the sudden arrival of chapters told from a different point of view is a sort of clue!), it's well worth sticking with the journey. There are already two more Ruth books (The Janus Stone - available from Audible - and The House at Sea's End - hopefully soon available!), and I look forward to reading/listening to both of them - and the others which I'm sure will come in the future!
The reading is well done - some good use of regional accents to deliniate the characters, and perfectly paced- recommended!
"Couldn't stop listening"
What a great find this author has been, a totally fresh storyline
Very well written and the story unfolds and draws you in - lost most of yesterday, listening to this book, and now firmly on to the second book in the series.
Both Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson and forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway come across as being real people - almost the UK equivalent to Booth & Brennan, but without the gadgets and squints, and not wanting to spoil the storyline, an bot going to go into details.
I would have no problem recommending this to those of us who like a crime novel
"I Dig This Book"
This was a real punt: an author I had not heard of, and a review which put me off a little. It was certainly a worthwhile gamble in the end. Griffiths paints a vivid picture of the Norfolk coast and populates it with likeable andinteresting characters.
I am looking forward to the next to books, both already on my wishlist. If you like your crime thrillers with well-written and well-researched settings then give this a whirl.
"Archeological based who dun it"
I can't quite make up my mind whether I have read this book a while ago (perhaps from the library as it's certainly not on my bookshelves) - the story did just seem a tad familiar. That would certainly explain why I spotted the bad guy quite early on. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this listen, it was exceptionally well read and I very much liked the Nelson and Ruth characters and relationship - something just a little bit different. Indeed I would agree with other reviewers that all of the characters were sound - as an aging hippy myself (albeit not an academically knowledgeable one) Eric and the guy with the purple cape were spot on. I believe this is the first in a series and I'm just going to look for the next one.
"Gripped by the story"
This is the first time I have come across this author and her forensic archeologist. It was a gripping story of people and the special landscape of the salt marsh near Kings Lynn. Brilliantly read too by Jane McDowell. I shall definitely look for more stories in this series.
I found the main character very easy to identify with, and was immersed in the story right from the beginning. All the other characters were colourful and interesting as well, and the unraveling of the mystery was paced so that I didn't have a chance to get bored along the way. The skillful narration brought all the places, characters and events very vividly before my mind's eye, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
This is a well balanced book. Unlike the standard, hysterical central character battling relationship breakdown and drink issues which supposedly make them interesting whilst they also have to solve the case, Ruth is believable, realistic and likeable. She does still drink too much and have relationship issues but it is not overdone.
The plot and atmosphere move along nicely. If you read a lot of crime fiction you may guess the murderer which is a shame but it is still far better than the vast majority of the books available in this genre. Just the right number of characters and plot twists to make it interesting without it becoming a headache to follow. Cant stand other books where the author makes whole village potential suspects to keep you guessing, that is just lazy. So in summary - recommended.
"A Crime Novel with an Ancient Twist"
Engrossing, intelligent, pensive.
I liked the main character, Ruth. She seemed a refreshing break from the usual crime lead character. She was not a crime investigator but an archaeologist, which gave her an interesting take on events. Also she was a 'real' woman, a reflection of an intelligent, generous, yet flawed human being.
The moment Ruth discovers the hide (can't say any more without giving the plot away).
The book gave a real sense of the way the past and the present are part of a continuum. The timelessness of the salt marsh, combined with the references to ancient beliefs and practices, gave the whole story an edge that is lacking in typical crime fiction. The prose, too, was better than many crime novels.
There were a couple of inconsistencies in the plot, which is why I have rated this book as four and not five stars. It seemed a little too much of a coincidence for Ruth to find the body in the way that she did, given who the murderer was (don't want to give the plot away). Also, the 'bad' characters lacked depth, I felt, and the scene in which the murderer dies was unrealistic. The murderer seemed more an invented idea of what a 'murderer' might be, rather than a psychopath, and that was slightly disappointing. Having said that, I loved this book, I loved the characters of Ruth and Nelson and I can't wait to listen to the next instalment!
"A really gripping story"
I haven't seen the print version but the narration of this is excellent
Ruth - a very unusual character who really came to life from the narration
Yes, a Dorothy Sayers book. I so enjoyed Jane McDowell's narration of that and that is why I chose this story
Yes but it was over 8 hours and so I listened to about 4 hours on one car journey and then the rest as soon as I could!
I am looking for other books in the same series. A really good writer I had not heard of but certainly as enjoyable and well presented as any Ruth Rendell or PD James.
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